Description

This is SPACE SHUTTLE, with full instructions at www.X-Plane.com. Now included with version 9.12: ISS-docking and Earth-rendering and Plasma-trail rendering during re-entry!
(NOTE: The only negative reviews seem to indicate that 8-minute blast off takes too long, and the ISS docking 'spins out of control'... Note that you CAN bypass the blast-off and go right to flying.. just touch the screen near the top to invoke the menus, and you need to get pretty skilled and practiced to do the docking... but it CAN be done!)

Now on with the show: Based on the X-Plane engine, SPACE SHUTTLE lets you really get some cool bits of the Space Shuttle experience, in completely real-time simulation. Nothing is compressed or made unrealistic, but instead the 8.5-minute launch (to 400,000 ft) and last 12 minutes of re-entry (from 200,000 ft, Mach-10) are accurately represented.

Here are the options:

->Launch: This option lets you WATCH the launch in real-time, from 10 seconds left in the count-down, through orbiter-roll, through SRB-separation, though External-Tank separation, right through to low-orbit insertion, at 17,500 mph at 400,000 ft. You won't FLY this launch, but the times and speeds and events are accurately laid out for you to see, so you can finally see what happens AFTER the shuttle leaves sight of the cameras on it's flights to space! Now, with version 9.12, REALISTIC depiction of the Earth is included, including realistic atmospheric visibility and Earth curvature, so you can really see what the view is REALLY like when riding a rocket from sea-level to 400,000 ft.

->ISS Docking. This is a docking sim that gives you full freedom in all 6 dimensions: X, Y, Z, Pitch, Heading, and Roll... This is as tricky as space-flight gets, and YOU will attempt to dock with the ISS... .... can you handle it?
Shuttle and ISS geometry and docking-points are rendered accurately, so you will see the real scale and geometry of both craft.

->Final Approach: Now THIS is one you can FLY like a plane! You will be placed at about 18,000 ft, about 10 or 15 miles short of the runway at Edwards... you will fly clear down to landing on your own! Any decent flight-simmer should be able to handle this one, no problem.

->Near and Distant Re-Entries: THESE are ones that you can fly yourself, and these ones are tricky! I can do them, though, so I know you can, too! You will start off as far as about 600 miles out, at 200,000 ft, Mach-10, well above almost all of the atmosphere, and guide the Orbiter down, by hand, clear to Edwards. The instrumentation in the cockpit is similar to the instrumentation in the real Orbiter, so you will be following the speed, energy, and altitude curves from 200,000 ft all the way down to landing as you S-turn through the stratosphere at Hypersonic speeds. (I am not even slightly kidding or exaggerating. That is the re-entry procedure). Along with pretty accurate instrumentation, help-tips are presented to you in real-time, during the re-entry, to help guide you down, so you should be able to handle it, with enough practice, even if you are not currently familiar with shuttle re-entry procedures. Once you get some practice and get good enough, you will actually start your GLIDE at 600 miles out, 100 miles up, Mach-10, and hand-fly the glider clear to touch-down right on the runway, all in real-time, with pretty accurate physics. It is unlike any plane you have ever flown, or any game you have ever played, but I can do it every time, and one astronaut has hand-flown the entire procedure (rather than leaving it to the autopilot) one time in the history of the shuttle program.

Can YOU do it?

I have more thorough instructions posted at X-Plane.com...check them out!

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